We are very often asked by our SEO and web design clients, what is the biggest part of an SEO campaign? Our response is always, getting your website’s structure and content right then it’s obtaining a good amount of high quality backlinks. SEO is generally divided into two stages/sections… on-page optisation (content & structure) and off-page optimisation (backlinks & social media)
Backlinks from other websites to your site are essentially a ‘vote’ that tell the search engines that you are trusted and a good resource for whatever your content is about (the link anchor text helps determine how you rank for what keywords). In this article we are going to outline the best ways to obtain backlinks to your website…
Submit to online directories
There are literally thousands of online business directories on the web. Online directories are a very good place to get a free backlink, although approval can sometimes take months for the free option (it’s quicker if you pay for it!). Google likes online directories because they are moderated (to avoid spam submissions) and they are indexed and organised into categories giving relevance to your submission. We have put together a list of free online directories (a little bit out of date) or an up to date list can be found here.
DMoz directory is a must!
Write helpful content (for link baiting)
This is probably one of the most powerful methods to obtain backlink to your site. Make a good site, write good quality content/articles and the backlinks will come. Whether it be in forums or other people’s website, if you write content that interests people and is a helpful source of information, people will link to it.
This is probably one of my least favourite methods. It can be very time consuming and most blog comments have the “nofollow” attribute, which means that your backlink will hold very little weight with search engines. Finding blog comments without the “nofollow” is rare, but they are out there. One thing that is essential, you must post a comment that related to the article or that is in response to another comment. We get soooo many spam comments that say something like “Really great post blah blah blah” – make your comment relevant to ensure that it gets approved!
Forums are a haven for user submitted content, and are often very targeted to a specific subject/audience. This makes them a perfect place to link back to your site. The best way to do this on a forum is by having a signature with your link on it (watch out for ones with the “nofollow” attribute as these do not hold much weight). So have a search online for forums that are relevant to your site, read some posts and see where you can reply.
Much like online directories, there are now many article directories where you can submit an article that you have written and include some backlinks to your site. This does need to be approached with caution, as if you submit your article to too many places Google will notice the duplicated content and then deem it as spam. We would suggest only submitting to up to 10 article directories, starting with ezinearticles.com
Social Networking & Bookmarking
There is no denying that social networking has exploded and taken over the world, pretty much everyone now has a Facebook and Twitter account. Google now uses links on social website’s as a ranking factor, so why not every now and again post links to your site and maybe some articles that you have written.
Link exchanges can have good effects, but you need to be careful about what sites you exchange links with. You must ensure that you approach website’s similar to yours, with similar content and subject – otherwise the link will hold very little weight. The most effective way to initiate link exchanges is to email webmasters individually, you are very likely to be ignored if you send a mass email that ends up going in the spam box.